Android: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Android is everywhere. Really. It runs phones, tablets, and recently, I even saw it running on an iPhone. Just a few years ago, that would have thrilled me to no end. Truthfully, it still does, but I'm more skeptical now. See, two years ago, Linux was everywhere on Netbooks. I thought it was a big break—Linux finally hit the mainstream.

But, vendor customization and “dumbing down” made Linux look like an inconsistent kludge rather than a free and powerful choice. So far, Android looks fairly consistent across hardware. So far, many apps work, regardless of the Android version your device supports. Hopefully, vendors will see the mistakes made with Netbooks, and keep their “branding” to a minimum. There are many ways phone vendors and wireless carriers could mess up our world domination efforts. Again.

Dear Vendors, please don't try to sell more phones by adding proprietary software on top of Android. If you add software, contribute it back to the community. If you want to sell more phones, make better phones than your competition. (Please!)

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

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